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Jan 15, 2022 at 2pm UK
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Preview: Sampdoria vs. Torino - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Sampdoria vs. Torino - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Serie A clash between Sampdoria and Torino, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Inside the top half of the Serie A table after starting the week with an excellent win, Torino visit struggling Sampdoria at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on Saturday.

While the Granata returned from a COVID-19 outbreak to beat in-form Fiorentina 4-0 on Monday, their hosts have lost both games since the winter break and are just six points clear of the drop zone.

Match preview

The new year has not brought about improved fortunes for Sampdoria, as the Ligurian side followed a humbling 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Cagliari - who had won just once before this season - with their 11th Serie A loss last Sunday.

Though the Blucerchiati were beaten only by a single goal away to Napoli, their Scudetto-chasing hosts dominated possession throughout and should not have needed to rely on Andrea Petagna's spectacular winner to secure the three points.

Having narrowly escaped the axe in the autumn, coach Roberto D'Aversa - relegated with Parma last term - is under renewed pressure in the Marassi dugout, and his side have managed just two points and three goals from four league outings since getting the better of Genoa in the Derby della Lanterna.

Indeed, winners of just one of their last six all told, shipping goals has also been an issue for Samp this season. D'Aversa has overseen a miserable run of home form since his appointment: conceding at a rate of two goals per game and winning just twice from 11 attempts at Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

The last time they held on for victory saw Samp overcome this weekend's opponents in a mid-December Coppa Italia tie, with both sides much changed. On this occasion, though, Torino will be expected to exact their revenge, as one of Calcio's most improved teams since the summer.

Well worth waiting for - from their perspective at least - Torino finally took to the field for their first game of 2022 earlier this week, after their first fixture following the winter break was called off due to a COVID-19 outbreak in their camp, and a subsequent clash with Fiorentina was delayed by 24 hours.

Freshly emerged from a spell in quarantine, due to a lengthy list of players and staff affected by the virus, Ivan Juric's men certainly made the most of fresh legs in their first competitive match since December 22, as they surprisingly turned their Tuscan counterparts over by a four-goal margin in Turin.

Three goals up by the half-hour mark, Il Toro ran away with the points from an encounter in which many had them down as underdogs, given Fiorentina's impressive form - Josip Brekalo's brace contributing to an unlikely success.

It was a result which confirms Torino as both a more stable and effective proposition under Juric - who previously led modest Verona to successive top-half finishes - and they remain safely in mid-table, only four points shy of the European places and 12 above the threat of relegation which has previously haunted the club.

Their improvement has been largely built upon defensive organisation, and only title contenders Inter and Napoli can boast a better 'goals against' column to date - a remarkable turnaround from recent campaigns. In fact, one of several clean sheets was a feature of their 3-0 win over Sampdoria when the clubs last met in the league.

However, Torino must overcome recent precedent if they are to continue their upward trajectory on Saturday, as not only have they lost three of their last five meetings with Samp, but they have also managed just a single win from their last 15 attempts against them on Genoese soil.

Sampdoria Serie A form:
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • L

Sampdoria form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • L

Torino Serie A form:
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W

Torino form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W

Team News

As they seek just their sixth Serie A win of the season, Sampdoria are set to be without centre-back Julian Chabot, who must serve a suspension for yellow card accumulation this weekend, with several others also absent.

The injured trio of Mikkel Damsgaard, Maya Yoshida, Valerio Verre, plus Omar Colley - currently at the Africa Cup of Nations with Gambia - are set to miss out too, and goalkeeper Emil Audero was withdrawn at half-time against Napoli with a hip injury. Substitute stopper Wladimiro Falcone - just back from COVID-19 infection - is on standby if required.

Roberto D'Aversa this week signed Milan defender Andrea Conti for a nominal fee and gave ex-Torino captain Tomas Rincon his debut on Monday. Both are in contention to make the bench, as Radu Dragusin switches across to centre-back to cover Chabot, and veteran winger Antonio Candreva returns from suspension.

The visitors, meanwhile, still have star striker Andrea Belotti sidelined due to injury, joining Simone Verdi and Cristian Ansaldi in the treatment room this week.

In Il Gallo's continued absence, Antonio Sanabria starts up front for Torino, who also have Nigeria full-back Ola Aina away in Cameroon for at least the next couple of weeks.

Wilfried Singo, Rolando Mandragora and Dennis Praet - all of whom have already scored against the hosts in either league or cup this term - are expected to be included in Ivan Juric's established 3-4-2-1 formation.

Sampdoria possible starting lineup:
Falcone; Bereszynski, Ferrari, Dragusin, Augello; Candreva, Ekdal, Thorsby, Askildsen; Gabbiadini, Caputo

Torino possible starting lineup:
Milinkovic; Djidji, Bremer, Rodriguez; Singo, Lukic, Mandragora, Vojvoda; Praet, Brekalo; Sanabria

We say: Sampdoria 1-1 Torino

While Samp have been struggling to pick up points at Marassi, Torino are generally terrible away from home - registering just one victory from 10 Serie A road trips this season.

Though confidence levels before the game should be heavily in the away side's favour, Samp can rely on some of their old guard to help snatch a precious point towards their aim of staying afloat in the top flight.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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